Yesterday, the city was briefly enraptured by a brave bull that fled its Jamaica slaughterhouse and led cops on a wild chase through the streets of Jamaica, Queens. Sadly, the bull died shortly after cops shot it with tranquilizer darts—a fate all the more tragic considering he was about to be rescued by an animal sanctuary in New Jersey. And to memorialize poor Ferdinand&dmash;as well as to "urge the city to properly either train law enforcement to handle these situations appropriately, or else cease slaughterhouse operation within city limits," a local activist group will hold a candlelight vigil tonight outside the slaughterhouse from whence the bull came.
The event, which will take place outside the Aziz Slaughterhouse in Jamaica from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., is hosted by the group Vegans of New York, along with other animal advocates. Though it seems odd to hold a vigil for an animal that was already doomed to die, Vegans of NY spokesperson Jill Carnegie told Gothamist that it will remind folks who mourned the loss of the bull that animals die in slaughterhouses every day.
"Basically, what's so important about stories like this is that the public roots for the bull to survive, the one who escaped, while still forgetting about the billions that are behind closed doors," Carnegie said. "So that's one element that we definitely want to highlight, to let him be the symbol of all those that we don't see."
Carnegie also argued that the city doesn't know how to handle escaped livestock, which is problematic considering it's not that uncommon for a cow or steer to escape a slaughterhouse. Indeed, yesterday's bull was the third escaped bovine in Queens in 14 months. "It's pretty clear that the training has not been put into place, and executed, to be able to handle a large terrified animal within the city limits running around when they try to escape pain and fear and death," Carnegie said. "Yesterday is an example of a tragic ending and something that definitely wasn't handled well, because that bull certainly didn't deserve to die. He had help literally minutes away."
We contacted the city for comment on whether the NYPD handled yesterday's escaped bull properly, but have not heard back. Meanwhile, a spokesperson with the NYPD told Gothamist "there is no protocol" for handling such an incident.
Aziz Slaughterhouse does not appear to have a working phone number.